Ina Fried

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Cellphone Customers Have at Least a Couple Reasons to Smile

Fewer cellphone calls are being dropped and data speeds are on the rise as all the major carriers expand their LTE networks.

verizon can you hear me now-feature

That’s the good news in a report from RootMetrics, which measures real-world cellphone performance nationwide.

Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile all reduced their call failure rates from the first half of the year to the second, according to RootMetrics. Verizon’s rate increased fractionally, but was still an industry-best 0.7 percent for the second half of the year.

“In 2012, we found strong call performances from all carriers: the gap between each carrier’s average rate of call failures (dropped and blocked calls) was relatively minor,” RootMetrics said in its report.

Data speeds, meanwhile, are also showing across-the-board improvement as the major carriers spend billions to expand LTE service nationwide. Verizon was the first, and has the largest LTE network, but all its rivals are working hard to catch up.

A separate report from RootMetrics released earlier this year showed AT&T with the fastest LTE network and Verizon with the broadest LTE coverage.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus